Cooking outdoors

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Cooking outdoors

Postby Keptek » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:41 pm

Our rental home is badly positioned and practically uninsulated, and very draughty. The kitchen becomes a nightmare after the burner's been on for 10 minutes.

I was considering purchasing a camping stove with two burners so we can cook our evening meals out of doors. For example here's one I found on Ebay, to illustrate what I mean- ( http://cgi.ebay.com.au/OZTRAIL-2-BURNER ... 2ea8fa6230 )

Would it be considered worse or better, environmentally, to cook with one of these things out of doors?

Potentially better because the house stays cooler without having the gas stove on, and therefore requires less cooling (not that we have a cooling system, especially in our kitchen!)

As the gas was going to be used anyway (if I cooked indoors), it could almost be seen as zero extra emissions and use of resources? Apart from bottling facility and transportation of gas bottle to my house.

What do people think of this idea? :?: :?:
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby Tracker » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:55 pm

Keptek wrote:Our rental home is badly positioned and practically uninsulated, and very draughty. The kitchen becomes a nightmare after the burner's been on for 10 minutes.


Why is it so....? Does the kitchen not have a window or exhaust fan?

I was considering purchasing a camping stove with two burners so we can cook our evening meals out of doors.
Would it be considered worse or better, environmentally, to cook with one of these things out of doors?


Depends what you mean by "Environmentally"

LPG is FAR more expensive than town gas !!! especially in small bottles..
We can light up our gas stove and barely feel any difference, even without windows or exhausts.

So where are you, that makes your kitchen so dramatically hot?

You haven't "Passed Over" have you?
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby Keptek » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:43 pm

There's no exhaust fan. There is a large window, but it doesn't sit in its tracks properly. So it's a bit dangerous to try and open it.

Not sure what passing over means!

Cheers :) Thanks for the ... reply hehe!
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby MichaelB » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:43 pm

Hi Keptek,

I was looking at this listing on eBay recently :).

I have a feeling that camp stoves are more efficient than indoor ranges based on my own gas consumption (I cook a lot on one). I can get 3 weeks out of a 2kg bottle using a smaller 2 burner stove - but just to clarify - that's mainly heating canned food for one with a fry up 3 days a week - but it's also quite a bit of kettle boiling too. I think the efficiency has to do with the burner setup, which also makes them "loud" compared to a gas range stove top and therefore undesirable.

Something that would definitely effect efficiency if you're cooking outdoors though is wind.
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby taggertycyclist » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:30 pm

I, too, am l ike MichaelB, cooking (for two) on a twin burner camp LPG stove. We use it every day, and cook up normal meals-from-scratch (meat and three veg, spag bols, stir fries, heating frozen pizzas and pies in a dutch oven) plus use it to heat coffee water and wash-up water. We use the big 8kg cylinders, and they last between six and eight weeks -- at around $35 a refill. We have one in use, and one on rotational standby. I'm quite happy with the performance.

However, the stove is indoors. If you don't have an evening breeze, or use a protected area, then outdoors cooking should be fine.

Just a note: i am led to believe LPG, LNG and/or mains gas are quite different animals in terms of jetting, and trying to connect a mains supply to a camp stove probably won't work. You should consult an expert on this.
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby MichaelB » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:28 am

taggertycyclist, I had never considered using a dutch oven on a camp stove - thanks for the idea :).

Any particular type you use or general usage tips in this application?
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby Tracker » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:08 am

Keptek wrote:Not sure what passing over means!!


I was concerned that you might have been cooking in "Hell's Kitchen" (seeing as thought it's so hot).
but that's silly -- There's no internet connection there ! How dumb of me !
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby taggertycyclist » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:19 pm

During winter when we had an open fireplace going, my wife used the dutch oven quite successfully to bake various things. Baking is her cooking forte.

We then started to use the dutch oven for heating things like taco shells. Then when it came to pizzas -- both her made-from-scratch version, and the bought variety, diameter for the oven became an issue. It was wide enough at the top, but not the bottom. So we got an empty large tuna can, took the bottom out of it, put it in the middle of the dutch oven, then inverted a pie dish over the top.

We've done a bit of trial and error with this, and settled on using a sheet of oven paper between the pizza base and the pie dish.

Our last couple of pizzas have been hugely successful on the gas stove... simply by keeping the flame on the lower side of moderate. Don't go gangbusters on it... it's like most forms of cooking, just slow and steady.

The heavy lid is a key. Peeking in every so often helps keep a check on progress.

Same deal with pies.

Her original efforts with pizza and baking generally involved a bought steel pizza tray, but it was bigger than the top of the dutch oven. Basically, she used aluminium foil to cover the top and that seemed to work quite well on browning, etc.

Essentially what we are doing is creating hot air for the baking process, which the oven is very good at doing, even at a quite low setting on the flame. The heavy lid retains that heated air, plus of course there is the radiant heat that starts to occur as well.

Generally, the first frozen pizza takes around 15 minutes from the time the flame is lit. The pot and lid have to heat, of course. The second pizza takes around 10 minutes because of the already-captured heat.

My wife tells me that the ready-mix cakes she has cooked in the fireplace take slightly longer than the time recommended on the packet.

Then, of course, if you like hearty stews, or really slow-cooked chicken and other meats like that, the dutch oven also might be handy. I haven't really tried them, but again, I would get a rack for the bottom to sit the meat on -- so the heated air does the cooking rather than the base of the oven, and to collect the artery-clogging fats which you can then make into a delicious gravy :D

Again, low heat is a key.

As to type of oven, dutch ovens are no longer cast and finished in Australia. I think production by the last firm to do it ceased about a year ago. All new dutch ovens are imported from you-know-where, but frankly I haven't had a problem with the quality. There is a warning not to going banging it against hard objects and dropping it, which can cause it to break.

I went into a camping store in Alexandra and asked for the biggest one. They had two other smaller sizes also available.

I think places like Ray's Outdoors and other camping stores of that ilk (as opposed to the Kathmandus and Paddy Palins of this world) would stock them also. Basically, anywhere that has car tents, I suppose.
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby EnergyMatters » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:00 am

mmm.. Pizza.. artery clogging fats.. gravy..

(wipes off drool and heads for nearest camping store)

Thanks for the tips! Sounds like your wife should put together a book on this sort of cooking method - I'd buy it! :mrgreen:
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Re: Cooking outdoors

Postby eileen » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:58 pm

I mostly cook outdoors. It is much easier to clean up afterwards.

I have a gas bbq with hood, and have cooked birthday cakes in it as well as roasts and the usual stuff. It comes with a gas burner for stir fries. Simple, quick, easy to clean up. Much less kitchen grease.

On hot days I use my solar oven to cook veggies or stews. The drawback is that the oven needs to be regularly turned to track the sun, so one needs to be around for it to work properly. The sun is not hot enough to cook after work, so it can only be used on my days off.
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